Last Modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 7:39 PM
After an unseasonably warm spell last week, a cold front moved across the South and brought temperatures in the 30s and 40s to many areas around Louisiana. Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC reminds customers that a little conservation, a few lifestyle changes and some savvy bill management can go a long way toward combating the cold while controlling energy costs.
“Saving on energy costs doesn’t have to mean giving up on comfort,” said Chip Arnould, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana regional customer service manager. “There are many simple do-it-yourself projects that help protect against the chill of the winter — as well as the heat of the summer — while also helping keep a lid on energy bills.”
Entergy suggests these energy savers:
• Adjust the thermostat. During winter months, grab a sweater or a blanket to stay toasty, and set the thermostat to 68 degrees. Every degree higher can add 3 percent to your bill.
• Conserve hot water. Wrap your electric water heater with a water heater blanket and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium.
• Replace air and furnace filters every 30 days or as required by the type of filter.
• When you change your light bulbs, replace them with energy-efficient models. Entergy recommends Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent bulbs, which use 70 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
• Seal air leaks. Weatherstrip around doors, windows and any location where there may be a path between the inside and outside of your home.
Entergy Gulf States Louisiana also offers ways to help customers manage their bills year-round, including such options as Level Billing and Pick-A-Date. With Level Billing, enrolled customers’ bills are averaged over a rolling 12-month period, so they are about the same amount each month. Pick-A-Date allows customers to choose the date each month that their bill is due.
Seniors’ health can be particularly susceptible to extreme temperatures, so it is important for them to stay safely warm in winter. For the elderly and disabled who may be in crisis, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana offers The Power to Care, a program that partners with councils on aging to help pay energy bills for those who qualify.
Low-income Louisianans may also qualify for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps qualifying people pay energy bills and other energy-related expenses. For information on how to apply for assistance, call 888-454-2001.